Asian fund offers 10,000 euros to buy Spanish airport

17th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

A group of Asian and British investors on Friday angled to snap up a disused airport in Spain for 10,000 euros ($11,000), aiming to make it an import hub for Chinese goods.

A commercial court however said the offer by the group Tzaneen International for Ciudad Real Central Airport was too low, even though it was the only bidder.

Tzaneen was set up in Spain by British, Chinese and other Asian investors to buy the airport around 200 kilometres (124 miles) south of Madrid.

A spokesman for Tzaneen said it had offered 10,000 euros to buy the site.

In a statement the group added that it would invest up to 100 million euros to turn Ciudad Real into a "logistical hub" for Chinese imported goods.

The commercial court in Ciudad Real has set 40 million euros as the minimum price for the airport, which is estimated to have cost about a billion euros to build.

It is one of several so-called "ghost airports" in Spain, built during a construction frenzy that went bust in 2008, dragging the country into economic crisis.

When it first started operating flights in 2008 its promoters were hoping to attract airlines to run low-cost flights for foreigners heading to Madrid.

But it was scuppered by an extension to Madrid's main Barajas Airport, which absorbed all the extra demand. Ciudad Real went bust with 300 million euros in debts and has been idle since 2011.

A spokeswoman for the court told AFP that since Tzaneen's offer was less than 70 percent of the minimum price, a judge ordered that the bidding period be extended in the hope of finding a higher offer.

A final ruling is expected in mid-September.

Another notorious "ghost airport" in Castellon near Valencia is due to reopen when Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair starts operating flights there in September.

© 2015 AFP

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